The Executive Governor of Adamawa State Rt Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has pledged strong commitment to support the work of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) in alleviating the sufferings of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Returnees and other Vulnerable Groups in the State.
Governor Fintiri made this pledge when he received a delegation from the NHRC and the UNHCR led by the Executive Secretary NHRC Tony Ojukwu Esq. on a courtesy visit to the Government House in Yola.
The Governor applauded the team for their determination to address the human rights and humanitarian challenges of the Population of Concern (PoC) in the state. He immediately directed his Chief of Staff to do the needful in ensuring that no stone is left unturned in addressing the recommendations handed over to him by the NHRC Boss, saying “we will discuss the document as a government and find solutions as necessary”.
With regards the security architecture of the state, Gov Fintiri said security in Adamawa state has greatly improved under his watch, adding that he is working assiduously to enhance this improvement in order to make things better.
Earlier in his address, the NHRC Executive Secretary expressed gratitude to the state government on the support given to Humanitarian Actors and Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement their humanitarian mandates in the state.
He also applauded the state government on the relative peace in the state which he said has encouragedRefugee Returnees from Cameroon to start coming back to Adamawa state.
However, Ojukwu said having met with stakeholders with protection mandate in the State with the support of UNHCR, it became imperative to make recommendations for improvement in the protection of IDPs and other vulnerable populations in the state.
He stressed the need for the state government to continue to improve funding of humanitarian activities.According to him, there are opportunities for funding support to the state government, which agencies should explore to raise more funds to help the displaced persons. He encouraged them to leverage on the support of development partners like the United Nations UN and European Union EU, to improve funding for humanitarian activities in the state.
On the issue of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, (SGBV), Ojukwu said there is a need for the government to strengthen the SGBV response in the IDP camps as the case has become rampant in recent times. He said MDAs responsible for addressing this problem like “The police, ministry of justice, women affairs, Adamawa State Emergency Agency (ADSEMA) and other relevant ministries should be assisted to improve the protection level.”
While calling on the Governor to look into the case of provision of farming security and farm lands for the IDPs in order to improve their livelihood as well as provide non-food items for them, Ojukwu warned against diversion of relief materials by custodians of these items saying that hospital bills of IDPs must also be settled to bridge the gap in the healthcare of displaced persons.
The human rights Boss encouraged the state government to consider bills criminalizing stigmatization of victims of sexual violence and other related issues. He also encouraged the state government and Adamawa state parliamentarians in both the National Assembly and state Assembly to support the domestication of the Kampala convention on IDPs, the passage of Child Rights Law in the state as well the domestication of CEDAW(Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. All these laws when passed will improve the protection of women and children especially in situations of armed conflict as evident in the North East Nigeria.